Sanders hails nearly $3 million health care providers in Wells River, Springfield, Brattleboro

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on Wednesday welcomed the announcement by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Rural Development that it had approved nearly $3 million combined across three grants for Vermont health organizations in Wells River, Springfield and Brattleboro. These Emergency Rural Health Care Grants (ERHC), part of the American Rescue Plan’s emergency relief funding that Sanders helped promulgate in 2021, will expand essential health services to thousands of Vermonters in rural communities.

“There should be no debate that Vermonters who live in rural areas should be able to get quality health care close to home,” Sanders said. “Yet for years healthcare facilities have struggled to keep the doors open – a problem that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. I’m proud to see that the American Rescue Plan, one of the most significant working-class welfare statutes in this country’s modern history, continues to provide critical assistance to Vermont residents—from addressing the health worker crisis to maintaining primary care and equipment and now to strengthen nursing services in Springfield, Brattleboro and Wells River. This funding will go a long way to enable these critical healthcare facilities to continue their important work to ensure the health and safety of Vermonters.

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Through the American Rescue Plan, USDA provides ERHC grants to provide immediate relief, expand services, and strengthen nutritional support for rural health facilities, tribes, and communities. In Vermont, these three recent grantees include:

  • $1 million for Springfield Hospital to alleviate the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, update facilities and services, and ensure residents continue to have access to quality health care close to where they live. The hospital will use part of the funds to invest in a more efficient HVAC system. Upgrading the ventilation system modernizes the building by improving energy efficiency and reducing operating costs.
  • $637,600 for Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Upgrade equipment and make improvements to meet the increasing needs of telemedicine, including an upgraded phone system, smart beds, elevators, portable beds and stretchers, and state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment equipment.
  • $1 million for Little Rivers Healthcare in Wells River to improve patient access to needed services, including the provision of additional examination rooms, health offices, support rooms for care teams, bathrooms, a waiting room, a work reception area and fire compliance works.

As part of the American Rescue Plan, Vermont has received an historic amount of state aid and investment to keep Vermonters safe and healthy, including more than $40 million for community health centers statewide and $27 million for distribution of vaccines.

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BURLINGTON, Vt., Sept. 21—Sen. Sanders

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